Metaphorically Speaking

It is interesting what you discover about yourself and your thought life once you start writing. I have just begun my second work in progress, an inspirational romance I’ve tentatively titled “Building Love”. In this story, my hero, Andrew, begins the story unsaved and running from his past. The story takes place in a small town in Nuevo Leon, Mexico in the Chihuahua Desert in the shadow of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Andrew owns a motorcycle, and when his painful memories become too great for him, he takes off on the bike and rides into the desert to try and escape his pain. In the climax of my story, Andrew will have an accident on his bike and become injured, as well as the bike becoming damaged, so he is unable to ride back into town. As he struggles to survive and tries to make his way back home, the words of faith of the heroine will come back to him, and he begins to call out to his Creator for help and a new beginning. What I found interesting about this was that I did not intentionally set out to create a metaphor with the desert in my hero’s life. The desert just happened because that was the setting I chose for my story. It wasn’t until I was outlining the plot for some friends that I realized I had created a “desert” experience for my hero. It made me wonder how many other metaphors exist in literature that the artist did not intentionally create. We read classics and study them in school, and we read so much into them. What if the metaphors we assign to them were accidental? That’s not to say that these metaphors are not excellent teaching tools. I’m thrilled to find that I’ve got this accident in my story and intend to use it to its full advantage as I develop my story further. But it sure got me thinking.

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